Sentence next for Volkswagen in US diesel emissions scandal

Sentence next for Volkswagen in US diesel emissions scandal

U.S. District Judge Sean Cox is holding a hearing in Detroit Friday, where he is expected to sentence the world's largest automaker to three years' probation as part of a $4.3 billion settlement announced in January. "As always it's the little guy".

In an unprecedented settlement, Volkswagen has been ordered to pay $2.8 billion to the U.S.as a criminal penalty in court, pushing the company's massive emissions scandal closer to its end.

Cox said the $2.8 billion criminal penalty is large enough, even though Volkwagen's offenses, spanning a decade, were done on objective.

The company also released a subsequent statement announcing the appointment of Larry D. Thomson as Independent Compliance Monitor under the terms of its settlements with the USA government.

Since the September 2015 disclosure that VW intentionally cheated on emissions tests for at least six years, the company has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and to make buy-back offers.

VW admits that almost 600,000 diesel cars in the United States were programmed to turn on pollution controls during testing and off while on the road.

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A half-dozen other Volkswagen employees were also indicted in the company's emissions fraud, though majority reside in Germany and are unlikely to appear in the U.S.to face charges. "This is a very serious and very troubling case involving an iconic automobile company", Cox added.

Birmingham attorney Craig Hilborn asked Cox to reject the government's plea deal because it did not include any court-ordered restitution for victims and did not charge Volkswagen Group of America with a crime.

"This conduct was not consistent with the values of this company and plain and simple it was wrong". The judge wanted more time to consider the plea deal and fine negotiated by VW and the U.S. Justice Department.

"We let people down and for that we are deeply sorry", he said.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board approved a fix for around 67,000 of the 475,000 Volkswagens and Audis with 2-liter diesel engines that were programmed to cheat on U.S. emissions tests. "Volkswagen today is not the same company that it was 18 months ago", he said.

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